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Wales manager Chris Coleman

07 Octobre 2017

The Northern Irish are in a wonderful position to secure a play-off spot having picked up more points than some other group leaders in the European qualification.

But Coleman only remembers a "horrible" experience and says there is no comparison between the team he played in and the one he now manages. "Republic of Ireland will come to party".

"We are used to missing Gareth, Aaron (Ramsey) and Joe (Allen)", said Coleman.

They were the revelation of the 2016 European Championship, a Wales team of mostly journeymen — not counting its galactico, Gareth Bale, of course — somehow reaching the semifinals in their first major soccer tournament in almost 60 years.

Bale's absence against Ireland was zero cause for celebration for one of football's most taciturn operators.

Scotland are a great bet at 7/5 with Paddy Power, while I also like the 3/1 about Leigh Griffiths scoring in a home success.

Both Keane and manager Martin O'Neill instead spoke of the need to concentrate on Moldova before crossing the Irish Sea for Monday's match.

If only Bale was as reliable as Gunter, who has remarkably played in his country's last 56 matches and is preparing for his 82nd cap. It was Walters' two goals in a playoff with Bosnia and Herzegovina that booked Ireland a place at Euro 2016.

I'm hoping that could be a blessing in disguise as both will be well rested for the Welsh game, and if Ireland can't beat Moldova without them they really don't deserve to be in the qualifcation shake-up.

The World Cup hopefuls took another step closer to booking their place in the play-off spots with a 1-0 win over Georgia courtesy of a superb Tom Lawrence strike.

Without Bale, Wales produced a disciplined performance against a tricky Georgian side who drew 1-1 in Cardiff - one of five draws for Coleman's team.

In the end it was a flawless evening for Coleman, rounded off by the fact that none of the seven players on a yellow card picked up the booking that would have ruled them out of the Ireland match, which promises to be quite an occasion. "But it's not like when I first played for Wales, because the gaffer has options and players who can come in, do a job and help to get those three points".

Coleman's Dragons were playing catch-up after five draws at the start of their campaign before Ben Woodburn announced himself on the worldwide stage last month.

Wales manager Chris Coleman